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Marshville Elementary teachers take reading on the road

Marshville Elementary teachers Jill Zandrowicz, a fifth-grade teacher, at left, and Kimyada Gerald, a first-grade teacher, volunteer their time during the summer to bring a bookmobile into various Marshville Communities. (Below) Students step down off the Marshville Elementary School “bookmobile,” three of about two-dozen students who checked out books.

Teachers at Marshville Elementary School continue to make a difference during their summer breaks.

About 10 teachers from the school are volunteering their time over the summer to take books to students in Marshville neighborhoods, thus encouraging students to continue reading over the summer in order to keep up their reading skills.

Amy Paschal, a pre-K teacher at Marshville Elementary, said they take the books into rural communities where some of the parents don’t have transportation. The bookmobile makes it easier for the parents to get their children books to read over the summer.

“With us being a Title One school, we have a lot more need to increase reading within our community,” said Jill Zandrowicz, a fifth-grade Marshville Elementary teacher. “Maintaining reading levels is a big struggle. It’s something we need to work on.”

The “bookmobile,” an activity bus from the school, is available every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., traveling through several neighborhoods. The bus takes the same route each day so parents will know approximately when they will arrive in their community.

“It’s the best advice we could ever give a parent, 'Read to your child',” Paschal said. “Reading increases the student's vocabulary. It takes them places they could never go on their own.”

“We encourage the older kids to read to their siblings,” Zandrowicz said.
Students are allowed to pick two books. They are also given a snack and bottled water. If they bring the books back the following week, they are given two more.

Mikayla Bethea, 6, said she looks forward to the bookmobile each week. “I’m excited. We get to change books every week. My favorite books are about princesses and Tinker Bell. I want to get a Tinker Bell covers for my bed.”

The bookmobile serves about 75 students per day. Kimyada Gerald, a first-grade teacher, said she enjoys seeing her students and former students. “Seeing them during the summer months helps me keep that relationship,” she said.

Zandrowicz said the bookmobile helps establish relationships with students now that she will have when they enter fifth grade.

“They don’t get to me until much later,” she said. “It lets me get to know them at a much younger age. I can foster that relationship with them for years to come.”

The bookmobile offers about 150 books to choose from.

As Marshville Elementary is a Title One school, Zandrowicz said the summer effort is being funded by Title One funds.

Paschal said she hopes that the project will expand every year.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jul 14, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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